How Does an Ultrasound Work?

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If you’ve recently discovered that you’re pregnant, you may be wondering what steps you need to take to get more information about your condition. One of the best ways to gather information on your pregnancy is through an ultrasound scan.

Today, we’re talking about the importance of ultrasound scans, how they work, and where and when to schedule yours.

How does an ultrasound work?

Imaging technology is often required to see internal organs and understand what’s happening inside the body. While some imaging technology used in the medical field utilizes radiation, ultrasound scans use harmless, high-frequency sound waves.

These waves are sent through the body using a transducer instrument. When the sound waves hit soft tissue or fluid they travel through, but when they hit denser surfaces they send echoes back to the transducer. These echoes are then translated through the computer to create an image of the body part under observation.1

I’m Pregnant — What Will an Ultrasound Reveal About my Pregnancy?

Ultrasounds are used by doctors in order to make certain diagnoses, guide surgeries, and, most commonly, to gather important information regarding pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, you have three options: parenting, adoption, or abortion. Regardless of which pregnancy option you’re considering, getting an ultrasound is an important step in making an informed choice for your future.

Ultrasound scans provide patients and doctors with the following details about their pregnancies:

  • The age of the pregnancy
    For those who are hoping to parent or place the baby for adoption, knowing the age of your pregnancy will help you prepare along the way and make plans before and after the birth. If you’re considering abortion, the gestational age of your pregnancy may greatly impact your options as some procedures are only available during certain stages of pregnancy.
  • The viability of the pregnancy
    Not all pregnancies will result in a healthy human life. Pregnancies that are not developing properly or will not survive outside of the womb on their own are considered nonviable. Ultrasound scans will help your doctor determine the viability of your pregnancy and give you information about the options available to you.
  • Health concerns related to the pregnancy
    Regardless of the pregnancy option you are considering, it’s important to ensure that you don’t have any health conditions that could make pregnancy or abortion dangerous for you. Ultrasounds will reveal pregnancy health conditions, such as ectopic pregnancies, and will alert your doctor to the need for any emergency interventions.

When do I need to get an ultrasound?

It’s suggested to receive routine ultrasounds scans through the pregnancy, with the first ultrasound occuring in the first six to eight weeks.

If you are considering abortion and want to fully understand the options available to you, you may want to schedule an ultrasound scan at your local pregnancy center as soon as possible.

Where can I get a free ultrasound scan?

BsideU for Life offers free early pregnancy services, such as lab-quality pregnancy testing, ultrasound scans, education, resources, options counseling, and more!

Getting an ultrasound scan is easy and free at BsideU for Life, so schedule your free appointment today!

1. Brazier, Y. (2017) “How do ultrasound scans work?” www.medicalnewstoday.com. Accessed June 29, 2021.

Top 7 Pregnancy Symptoms

If you missed your period, are feeling extra emotional, or feeling aversions to certain foods, you may wonder if you’re pregnant. While there are common tell-tale signs of pregnancy, it’s important to take a pregnancy test and get an ultrasound to know for sure. 

It’s best to take your first pregnancy test at least one week after you’ve missed your period, so while you wait, here are seven pregnancy symptoms to watch out for:

1. Missed period

The first and most common sign of pregnancy is a missed period. However, missing your period doesn’t necessarily mean you’re pregnant. High stress or other hormonal changes can disrupt your cycle, causing you to miss your period.

If you’ve recently been sexually active and miss your period, it’s smart to take a pregnancy test. You can also follow up to confirm the accuracy of the test at our clinic, where we can also provide a free ultrasound to reveal even more information about your pregnancy if your test is positive.

2. Sore, tender breasts

The second most common symptom of pregnancy is tender or sore breasts. As your body changes to prepare for the pregnancy, the hormone surge can make your breasts feel sensitive. This usually passes after a few weeks as your body adjusts to the hormonal changes.

3. Nausea, with or without vomiting

Unfortunately, “morning sickness” isn’t confined just to the morning. It can strike at any time of the day or night. Morning sickness is experienced differently by every woman during pregnancy. Some don’t experience it at all.

While the cause of morning sickness isn’t 100% known, changing hormones are believed to play a role.

4. Food cravings or food aversions

Many women experience cravings for foods they disliked before being pregnant throughout their pregnancies. It’s also common to have strong aversions to foods you previously enjoyed. 

Again, pregnancy hormones are likely the cause of these changes when it comes to food preferences.

5. Mood swings

It’s common to feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster during pregnancy. This can be disorienting if you normally don’t experience high highs or low lows, but know that it’s a normal pregnancy symptom.

Giving yourself grace for these unexpected emotions and space to feel them is healthy and encouraged while you’re pregnant. Know that they aren’t permanent and are a common aspect of pregnancy for many women.

6. Fatigue

If you feel extra tired in the early stages of pregnancy, there’s a good reason! Your body is hard at work producing extra hormones and progesterone can make you feel sleepy. 

7. Increased urination

Your body produces more blood during pregnancy, giving your kidneys extra fluid to process. This fluid ends up in your bladder, causing you to take more frequent trips to the bathroom.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you might be pregnant. It’s important to confirm with a pregnancy test and ultrasound, though, because these can be symptoms of other medical conditions as well. 

We offer free and confidential pregnancy testing and limited ultrasounds so you can get the answers you need. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

10 Signs You Might Be Pregnant

Not positive that you are pregnant yet? The waiting can be a nerve-racking place to be. An unplanned pregnancy is never easy, but whatever happens, you are not alone. If you think you are experiencing early pregnancy symptoms, always take a pregnancy test to be sure. Here are some of the most common signs that you might be pregnant.

What are the top 10 signs that I might be pregnant?

Here are ten of the most common pregnancy signs that could point to pregnancy:

1. More Frequent Urination 

When you become pregnant, your body’s amount of blood increases and causes your kidneys to process more fluid. This fluid then makes its way into your bladder, causing you to urinate frequently. If you are urinating more frequently than usual, you may be pregnant.

2. Your Missed Period

A missed period is a very common early sign of pregnancy. It all has to do with your unique menstrual cycle and what normal is for you. If you have irregular periods often, pregnancy may not be the case. On the other hand, if you missed your period and it’s out of your menstrual routine, you might be pregnant.

3. Fatigue

Fatigue can feel like muscle weakness, tiredness, or slowed reflexes and responses. During early pregnancy, you may feel sleepy due to the extra progesterone in your body. If you’re feeling constant fatigue or even slight signs of it, pregnancy could be the reason.

4. Nausea 

Some women experience nausea early in their pregnancy, and some not at all. Nausea with or without vomiting is a common sign that you are pregnant. The hormonal changes in pregnancy play a big part in this and how you experience this pregnancy symptom.

5. Mood Swings

Ever feel like you can’t control your mood? Mood swings are obvious for those you live with and can pick up on it before you do. Due to the number of hormones released in your body during pregnancy, you can become very sensitive and emotional. 

6. Tender Breasts

During pregnancy, hormonal changes can cause your breasts to be sore and sensitive. Once your body adjusts to your pregnancy, this can tend to go away further into your pregnancy. Tender breasts are a common sign that you might be pregnant.

7. Food Aversions

Are you feeling extra sensitive to certain foods or odors? Experiencing food aversions is common in early pregnancy. It’s a process that your body goes through during your first trimester. 

8. Mild Cramping

Slight cramping could be an early symptom of pregnancy. Many times, women experience this in their first trimester and it’s nothing to be worried about. If you come up negative for pregnancy, do follow up with your doctor.

9. Nasal Congestion

An increase in hormonal levels and higher blood production causes mucus membranes to swell and dry. It can cause you to have a runny or stuffy nose. This is subtle but a common early pregnancy symptom.

10. Bloating

Bloating is a more difficult symptom because many things can cause it. The hormonal changes during early pregnancy could cause you to feel bloated, similar to how you feel at the beginning of your menstrual period.

How do I confirm I’m Pregnant?

If you find yourself experiencing a couple or even just one of these symptoms, you should confirm your pregnancy. Take an at-home pregnancy test and then receive lab-quality pregnancy testing to be sure. Confirming your pregnancy will give you the confidence you need to move forward. Talk to our team today if you have any pregnancy symptoms, questions, or if you want to know more about your pregnancy options. We are here for you.

 

Schedule a free and confidential appointment today.

 

“Symptoms of pregnancy: What happens first.” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/getting-pregnant/in-depth/symptoms-of-pregnancy/art-20043853.

 

When Do Pregnancy Symptoms Begin?

If you recently had unprotected sex or a birth control failure, it’s easy to think every little twinge or symptom you feel is a sign you are pregnant. But it’s important to know most women will not experience symptoms of pregnancy until they are at least 5-6 weeks pregnant. 

 

Mild Early Pregnancy Symptoms

 

In some cases women may experience minimal spotting around three weeks when the fertilized egg implants on the uterine wall. Also during the third and fourth week you may notice little hints of pregnancy, like a loss of appetite for certain foods, fatigue, or urinating more frequently than normal. 

 

As your pregnancy progresses into the 4th and 5th week these symptoms can become more pronounced, and you may have periods of nausea and begin to notice breast tenderness. Pregnancy symptoms can become more pronounced during this time because your body is beginning to make changes to care for your pregnancy. These changes are caused mostly by the hormone levels in your body beginning to adjust. 

 

Other Pregnancy Symptoms

 

Hormone level changes are the major contributor to many of the symptoms you may begin to notice in the 6th and 7th week as well. During this time, morning sickness, or just overall nausea, can become more prevalent. You may also notice mood swings and an increase in fatigue. At this point your uterus and pregnancy are also growing rapidly leading to more frequent urination. Spotting during this time is not unusual.

 

Pregnancy symptoms become more pronounced by the 8th week. In addition to all the earlier symptoms, you may begin to experience bloating, heartburn, and sleep disruptions. Food cravings and food aversions may join the list, and of course, your clothes may begin to feel a little tighter with weight gain and pregnancy progress.

 

Get the Answers You Need

 

While all these symptoms can be indicators of pregnancy, the best way to know if you are pregnant is with a pregnancy test and a visit to your local healthcare provider. The medical staff at BSideU for Life can discuss these symptoms, provide free pregnancy testing, an ultrasound at the right time, and provide you the information you need to make the best decision for your health. 

 

Contact BSideU for Life today to schedule your free appointment. 

Is Planned Parenthood Free?  

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For some women, a positive pregnancy test brings about feelings of fear, worry, and stress, especially when finances are already a source of anxiety. Diapers, food, clothes, etc. — it’s no secret that parenting comes with expenses. However, what often goes undiscussed are the expenses that come with terminating a pregnancy. 

Your friends at BsideU for Life are here to prove you’re not alone in this new season, give you the facts about your pregnancy options, and dispel some important abortion myths. 

Is Planned Parenthood Free? 

As you consider your pregnancy options, understanding the potential costs is important. Abortion is a serious medical procedure and is often not covered by insurance plans, and unfortunately, you’ll likely find that many abortion clinics are seeking financial gain based on the choices you make for your body. 

Because Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit organization, many women assume they will find free services when they walk in their clinic doors; however, you might be surprised to find that healthcare at Planned Parenthood doesn’t come cheap. 

While it depends on the abortion procedure you choose, what part of the country you live in, and market competition in general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 for medical abortions and first-trimester surgical abortions to upwards of $3000 for second trimester or late-term abortions. You can also expect to pay additional fees for some other testing services or medication related to your pregnancy and abortion. 

Free Pregnancy Testing

While most abortion clinics like Planned Parenthood won’t offer free reproductive healthcare, you still have options!

Before you schedule an appointment for an abortion, it’s important to confirm your pregnancy with a certified lab-quality test. Even if you’ve taken an at-home pregnancy test, a lab-quality test will confirm you still have detectable levels of pregnancy hormones, indicating that you’re still pregnant. While a pregnancy test might be added to your bill at an abortion clinic, you can find free and confidential pregnancy testing at your local pregnancy centers, like BsideU for Life.

Free Ultrasound

You might be wondering why you would want to get an ultrasound if you’re planning on getting an abortion. However, ultrasounds are not just for women who plan to parent. These scans are actually an important part of the abortion process as they will help you identify the age, location, and viability of the pregnancy. 

These facts will not only give you insight into which abortion procedure you’re eligible for, but they will also help you identify any underlying conditions you might have that would increase the dangers of abortion. 

An ultrasound is required under Kentucky law prior to having an abortion as part of the patient’s informed consent rights.   If you obtain a free ultrasound from BsideU, it cannot be substituted for the one that an abortion clinic must provide by law.  

Schedule your free appointment today! 

The staff here at BsideU for Life is passionate about providing women with the resources and facts related to their pregnancy options.

When you walk inside our clinic, you’ll find pregnancy testing and ultrasound services, pregnancy options counseling, and physical and educational resources if you decide parenting or adoption are right for you. Most importantly, we’re here to help you confidently make the best decision for yourself and your future! 

Will I Pass My STD to My Baby? 

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Planned or unplanned, pregnancy can bring about a million questions, anxieties, and worries. If you think you might be pregnant and have an STD, you’re likely wondering if your condition will have any impact on your pregnancy, your options, and — if you chose to give birth — your baby.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by microbes (bacteria or viruses) that are  transferred through sexual contact through the mouth, anus, or genitals. If you or a sexual partner have had sexual contact with more than one person, at any point, you run the risk of contracting an STD.

While it’s always important to be aware of the risks related to STDs, this is especially necessary if you’re pregnant or think you might be pregnant.


Pregnancy and STDs — Will I pass my STD to my baby?

In short, yes — some STDs can be passed from the mother to the baby during pregnancy, birth, and even after the child is born.

STDs that can be passed to your child include the following:

– Chlamydia
– Genital herpes
– Gonorrhea
– Hepatitis B
– HIV/AIDS
– HPV/genital warts
– Syphilis

– Trichomonas Vaginalis


What happens if I pass an STD to my baby?

Having an STD while you’re pregnant can cause complications in your pregnancy and can seriously impact your baby’s future health and wellbeing.  Depending on the infection, some potential impacts on children born to mothers with STDs might include:

– Premature birth
– Blindness

– Deafness

– Eye infections

– Pneumonia
– Meningitis

– Liver disease

– Blood infection

– Brain damage

– Lack of coordination 

– Acute hepatitis

– Stillbirth



I think I’m pregnant and have an STD — What do I do?

Whether you think you’re pregnant or not, if you’re sexually active, it’s important to be tested for STDs on a routine basis. Because these diseases can lay dormant, it’s wise to be tested even if you don’t have any symptoms.

At BsideU For Life, we provide free STI testing and treatment at no cost to our pregnancy test clients, along with our other free services, including options counseling and ultrasounds. 



Abortion and STDs — What to Know

 

If there’s a chance you might have an STD and are considering an abortion, you’ll still need to be tested before moving forward with your abortion appointment. In fact, getting an abortion while carrying an untreated STD can be extremely dangerous. Surgical abortions can cause untreated diseases to spread throughout your body, which can result in sepsis and septic shock. Women with STDs are also at a greater risk for ectopic pregnancies, where the pregnancy isn’t located in the uterus.  Undetected, an ectopic pregnancy can lead to serious complications.

Like with any major medical procedure, it’s essential that you have a full picture of the potential risks and side effects of abortion, especially if there’s a chance you might have an STD or STI.

Schedule your appointment today!  

 

Worried that you might have an STD or STI?  It’s essential to be aware of these infections and be in control of your health and wellbeing!

Click here to schedule your appointment for a free and confidential STD test today! 

 

Note:  BsideU tests for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Trichomonas Vaginalis

Can I Buy the Abortion Pill Online?

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It’s so simple to buy things online and have them shipped to your door. From electronics, to beauty supplies, to healthcare products, it seems everything is available online. Plus, ordering online is convenient and anonymous, so you don’t have to worry about anyone asking questions.  In the age of the worldwide Covid19 pandemic it also seems like a viable solution, right?

So should you order the abortion pill online?

Ordering the Abortion Pill Online Isn’t Worth It

Considering an online abortion pill purchase?  You should know what seems easy may not be worth the cost to your health and your future.

Because of the powerful drugs contained in the abortion pill and the reaction it creates in your body, the FDA has strict guidelines regarding who can manufacture the pill and how it is prescribed.

As a result, the online sellers of the abortion pill are usually questionable companies who don’t have permission to make or sell the abortion pill–they are only looking for a quick buck.

Because the sales are not approved and are oftentimes illegal, any abortion pill you order online lacks safety and dosage guarantees. This can lead to severe and dangerous medical complications that could require professional medical attention. Without proper dosage the abortion pill bought online may not effectively terminate your pregnancy, requiring a follow-up surgical abortion.  In fact, a study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology found that 11% of users needed follow-up  surgical procedures, for either incomplete abortions or excessive bleeding. 

When buying from an online source, you are not only violating FDA guidelines and putting your health at risk, you could be potentially making an illegal purchase as well, which might carry legal implications for you in the future.

Ordering the Abortion Pill Online Is Not Worth the Health Risk

The FDA considers the abortion pill to be a serious medical product, requiring it only be prescribed under the supervision of a certified healthcare provider. 

The healthcare professional will ensure that you are a candidate to receive the abortion pill.  How?   Confirming how far along the pregnancy is, and using an ultrasound to make sure that yours is not an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is a serious condition which can not be addressed with the abortion pill.  Ectopic pregnancy requires medical attention as soon as possible to protect you from dangerous and life-threatening complications.

After the ultrasound, the healthcare provider should also ask you a series of questions to make sure any medical history or current treatments won’t create complications with the abortion pill. They should also ask you if you are using an intrauterine device (IUD), which would need to be removed before the abortion pill is prescribed.

During the course of treatment from the abortion pill, medical supervision is also important to monitor for side effects, which may be serious and complicated.   Let’s face it — addressing complications and side effects quickly can only happen with the help of an involved healthcare provider.  This at least potentially protects you from life threatening issues, or ones that may affect your long-term health.  Otherwise — you risk facing them alone and at home, with no one to turn to.  

The FDA takes the quality and prescription of the abortion pill very seriously, and so should you, that’s why you shouldn’t put your health in the hands of shady online companies promising cheap fixes. 

Whether an abortion is in your future is a tough decision in the midst of a crisis, let alone hastily getting it through dangerous and regulated chemicals provided by unreliable online sources.  You deserve the best supportive, nonjudgmental care from providers who will listen to everything you face.  So your first step when you find out you are pregnant, or think you might be pregnant, is to schedule an appointment with BsideU.  We can provide the testing and information you need to make the very best decision for your health and future.

Healthy Weight Gain for Pregnancy

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Most doctors will tell you that you can gain anywhere between 25-30 pounds throughout your pregnancy. You should aim to gain about 3.5 pounds during your first trimester, although more often than not most women find that they lose weight their first trimester. The reason for weight loss is simple: morning sickness. Some women suffer from such a severe case of morning sickness they can’t keep anything down. Chances are your doctor won’t be too concerned if you lose a few pounds that first trimester as long as you gain steady throughout the next two trimesters.

Your second trimester is where you will probably put on most of your weight.  Most women put on about a pound a week, so roughly four or five pounds a month which brings their second-trimester weight gain to about 12-15 pounds. Of course, some women put on more while others put on less. Don’t be surprised if you put on a lot of weight one month and not so much your next.

For the 7th and 8th month you will probably continue gaining about a pound each week or so. Look to gain between 8 and 10 pounds those months. Most women find that their weight gain slows down in the 9th month. You might find your weight gain coming to an end as your due date draws nearer. This can be a sign that labor is near. Or, you may find that your weight gain continues especially if you are retaining a lot of water.

So where does all this weight go? It doesn’t really make sense that you should gain between 25-30 pounds if your baby is only going to weigh between 7 and 8 pounds.

First, you have your baby. An average baby weighs about 7 1/2 pounds. Some can weigh more and some weigh less. That amniotic fluid that your baby has been swimming in for the past nine months weighs about 2 pounds. Figure in about 2 pounds for your breast enlargement and 1 1/2 pounds for your placenta. Your uterus, which started off about the size of a golf ball has grown to weigh about 2 pounds. Your body should be producing about 4 pounds of extra blood by the end of your pregnancy and about 7 extra pounds of fat. Let’s not forget the extra fluid of about 4 pounds that your body might be holding on to. All this equals to the grand total of about 30 pounds.

Now keep in mind this is just an estimate and not a guarantee of how your weight will increase. There are women who wind up having a 10-pound baby and others who have a 5-pound baby. The key is to maintain a healthy weight gain throughout your pregnancy. Your body needs extra calories and it is best for you and your baby if those extra calories come from food that has a lot of nutritional value such as fruits, vegetables or protein. Staying away from junk for will help you curb your weight gain.

When it comes to taking the weight off, don’t be surprised if your body hangs on to it especially those first weeks delivery. Most women still look pregnant for a few weeks after delivery. This is normal. Once you are home, keep this in mind that it took nine months to gain that weight so give yourself at least a good nine months to take it off.

What You Should Know About Your Unplanned Pregnancy

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Here’s what every woman should know when she looks down and sees the two parallel lines on a positive result that she didn’t plan on:

You’re Not Alone

Nearly half (or 45%) of the 6.1 million pregnancies in the United States are unintended pregnancies. That’s over 2.8 million pregnancies that weren’t planned.

Of those unintended pregnancies, some are “mistimed,” meaning a woman wants to be pregnant eventually, just not right now. And some are unwanted pregnancies, meaning a woman never wanted or intended to be pregnant.

You’re definitely not alone. You’re not “stupid,” you’re not an “idiot,” and you’re not at fault. Things just happen.

Your Life Isn’t Over

When some women find out they’re unexpectedly pregnant, a few “acquaintances” and people who aren’t a regular part of their life may say that their “life is over”. They won’t be able to continue with their career. They wouldn’t be able to have the social life they had come to enjoy. They wouldn’t be able to do much of anything at all if it didn’t involve staying home and taking care of the baby.

What an outdated way of thinking. Plenty of women have children, work, spend time with friends, go outside of their homes and life fulfilled, well-rounded lives.

It’s Not A Mistake

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t a mistake nor does it have to be considered a mistake. Pregnancy happens. You can do everything “right” and take all the birth control that is available, and still get pregnant.

It happens when a man and woman engage in sexual activity. It’s not a mistake because it’s no one’s fault. You’re not to blame. Your partner or the person who contributed to this unplanned pregnancy isn’t to blame.

Because You Have Options

An unplanned pregnancy isn’t the end of the world or the end of your life or a mistake, because you have options for the birth of the child.

You may not be ready to raise a child.

Adoption is an option. There are many families waiting to love and raise the child you are carrying.

It’s Okay If You’re Not Excited

The initial reaction to your unplanned pregnancy has no bearing on the kind of mother you are going to be.

Many women are scared, confused, unsure and almost sad when they learned they were pregnant. Now? Now their child is happy, healthy and thriving. You won’t be a bad mother just because your first reaction to being pregnant isn’t “Yippee!” Big, life-changing moments deserve and often require a moment of pause, reflection, and even a dash of understandable fear.

It Can Be Shocking And Scary

Make no mistake, we’re talking about pregnancy, here. We’re talking about parenthood. We’re talking about a life-long commitment. That is a big deal.

It’s overwhelming and it’s okay if you’re shocked and scared. You’re under no obligation to pretend to be happy just because you’re a woman and just because you’re pregnant.

This is your life, and it will be your life that changes. You get to feel whatever it is you want and need and end up feeling.

BSideU For Life is here to offer you the emotional and spiritual support … and space … you may need to simply begin the process of accepting and adjusting to the news that you’re pregnant.

You’re Allowed To Be Excited, Even If You Didn’t Plan Your Pregnancy

Of course, at the same time, you don’t have to feel upset or scared if that’s not your initial reaction, either. If you’re super happy and excited, be super happy and excited! Because, whatever you feel is normal, valid, and worthy of being expressed.

This is your experience to live, and no one else gets to live it for you.

You Don’t Have To Explain How You Got Pregnant

You don’t have to go to into detail about failed birth control or condoms or diaphragms or IUDs or whatever else. It’s no one’s business. Everyone knows how babies are made. There’s no need to explain how you ended up pregnant.

Learn more about the various services we offer at BSideU for Life. Just give us a call or stop by.

 

Caffeine and Pregnancy – How Much is Too Much

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One of the first things most women prepare to say goodbye to once we see a positive pregnancy test result is caffeine.  Many women will stop their caffeine habit cold turkey out of the sheer fear of doing some sort of damage to the new life growing inside of them. These women will swear off anything that has caffeine in it from coffee, and soda to even chocolate. Then there are some who will still drink caffeine but cut back. Instead of drinking five cups of coffee a day,  cut back to at least one cup of coffee to get us through the day.

Our mothers and grandmothers will likely tell us that they drank the same amount of caffeine pregnant as they did when they were not pregnant and their children turned out fine. However, a lot more research has been done since their time and studies are showing that too much caffeine can cause some complications such as preterm labor and/or low birth weight.

So how much caffeine is too much caffeine?

Doctors are telling their patients that a moderate amount of caffeine will not harm their babies. Even though caffeine does cross the placenta, anything less than 300 milligrams a day (an 8-ounce cup of strong coffee) will not do any harm.

Anything over 300 milligrams puts your baby at risk and studies have also shown that women who drink more than 300 milligrams of caffeine a day during their first trimester have a slightly higher risk of a miscarriage.

Studies have also shown that women who had over 500 milligrams of caffeine a day had babies who had faster heart rates and faster breathing rates. These babies also spent more time awake in their first few days of life rather than peacefully sleeping after their long journey.

There are a number of other reasons why we women might want to cut back on the amount of caffeine we drink during pregnancy.

For starters, it has no nutritional value. If there is ever a time for us to be aware of our nutritional needs it is when we are pregnant.

Second, caffeine is a stimulant which will increase your heart rate and can cause insomnia and headaches which can put some stress on your growing little one.

Third, caffeine can cause heartburn. If you have been pregnant before you know that heartburn can be a burden to begin with, and caffeine just makes it worse.

Lastly, it is a diuretic which means it can cause you to lose fluids which can put you at a risk of becoming dehydrated.

While it’s not necessary for you to give up all caffeine throughout the duration of your pregnancy, you should learn how to drink it in moderation or don’t drink it at all.  If you can’t handle having only one cup of coffee a day, then you might be better off drinking no coffee at all. Stick with caffeine-free sodas and even decaf coffee.